I Hate My Crooked Tooth

What To Do, No Matter How Old You Are

Lots of people have suffered a long time with crooked teeth ... even one crooked tooth ... that drives them nuts. These folks didn't, for whatever reason, have orthodontia as an adolescent and many feel the opportunity to correct the problem has passed. After all, you're out in the business world every day and you think braces will make you look weird. Not so! As long as you have teeth and time, an orthodontist can help you by making your teeth beautifully straight.

Adults wearing braces are much more common-place now than they were even 20 years ago. And with the development of nearly invisible braces, why wouldn't you go ahead with it? Traditional braces have changed over the years, though the metal bands that wrap around each tooth are still being used, it's much more prevalent for an orthodontist to use smaller glue-on braces. And the glue-on braces, which only attach to the front or even the back of the tooth, come in clear and porcelain colors. With the advent of Invisiline, the brand name for clear tray-type braces that fit over the teeth a similar to but much more scientific than a whitening trays, it can be virtually impossible to tell whether someone is really wearing braces.

So here's what you do:

1. Make an appointment with an orthodontist to at least check out your options.

2. S/he will take x-rays, which could include panorama xrays of your whole mouth, check out the alignment of your teeth and even the shape of your face, and perhaps take a regular photograph to analyze the relationship between your teeth, jaws and head.

3. Then you'll get the advice you need about how braces would be used on you and whether they would help your particular problem.

In addition to the purely cosmetic value of correcting crooked teeth, there are other reasons why adults would want to straighten their teeth. It can improve not only their smile, but also their speech (depending on the severity of the problem), chewing comfort, and tooth alignment. And, believe it or not, it can help prevent cavities because it's harder to keep the spaces between crooked teeth from building up plaque and bacteria, even with flossing, than it is those between straight teeth.

It's never too late ... take advantage of today's terrific orthodontic advances and get the smile you've always wanted.

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